The "Israel" of Romans 11 cannot be spiritual Israel.

I'm going to make a case that, exegetically, Paul cannot be speaking of spiritual Israel in Romans 11 when he says "all Israel will be saved." Regardless of the tension this creates for us, it simply cannot be that he is using the term "Israel" in the same way that he used it in Romans 9:6-8.

Here is the relevant verse in 11:26-27:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

'The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins
.'”
Regardless of how he uses the term "Israel" in chapter 9:6-8, we know that he cannot be using it in the same way here for the following reasons:

1. Throughout all of chapter 11, Paul uses the term to refer to people who are presently estranged from God.
- Verse 7 says "Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
- Verse 11 says "I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles." In this verse, "they" and "their" refers to Israel and is contrasted with "Gentiles." If Paul is speaking of spiritual Israel, is he also speaking of spiritual Gentiles?
- Verse 25 (immediately prior to "all Israel will be saved") says "blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." Has spiritual Israel been blinded?
- Verse 28 (after he says "all Israel will be saved") says "Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers." The exact same people who were blinded are concerning the election said to be "beloved for the sake of the fathers."

2. Throughout this chapter, Paul explicitly states that he is referring to Israel according to the flesh.
- Right at the start, he says in verse 1 "has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."
- In verses 13-14, he says "For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them."
- His audience are described as branches from a "wild" olive tree, whereas those who were "broken off" and "fell" are said to be part of a "cultivated" olive tree. Two olives trees: one wild, one cultivated. His audience wants to remain grafted into the "cultivated" olive tree, and the ones who were removed from that tree (the "natural" branches) can be grafted in again.

3. Other verses in this chapter that speak of a universal reconciling are clearly referring to Israel according to the flesh.
- Verse 12 says "Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!"
- Verse 15 says "For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"
- Verse 32 says "For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." Has God committed spiritual Israel to disobedience?

In light of this and the tension it creates with our theology, I would suggest that the meaning of "all Israel will be saved" turns not on the meaning of the word "Israel", but on the meaning of the word "saved."​
 
Why is there the need of a "spiritual" Israel in any of Paul's writing?
I suppose it's based on Paul's phrase in Romans 9:6, "For they are not all Israel who are of Israel." That first "Israel" is intended to be distinguished from the second "Israel."
 

rakovsky

Member
If he says "all Israel will be saved", then certainly he is at least including all or part of "Spiritual Israel" in that.
 

brightfame52

Well-known member

The "Israel" of Romans 11 cannot be spiritual Israel.​


The Election is spiritual israel, and its the Church, the Body of Christ Rom 11:5-7

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
 

rakovsky

Member
In general I expect that Romans 11 IE the chapter is talking about Gentiles and Jews both coming to Faith.
 

rakovsky

Member
Like when it says that all Israel will be saved then I take it that it is also talking about the Earthly Israelites coming to Faith. But Falls also has this statement in there that not all Israel is Israel or Israel is not all Israel. So Israel in the passage chapter is probably also talking about the church.
 

brightfame52

Well-known member
Like when it says that all Israel will be saved then I take it that it is also talking about the Earthly Israelites coming to Faith. But Falls also has this statement in there that not all Israel is Israel or Israel is not all Israel. So Israel in the passage chapter is probably also talking about the church.
I believe the all israel will be saved refers to the Church, the BOC
 

rakovsky

Member
I believe the all israel will be saved refers to the Church, the BOC
I guess that Paul uses the concept or terminology in two ways, like when he says "not all Israel is Israel." IOW, either he meant that not all of the earthly Israel belongs to the spiritual Israel, or not all of the spiritual Israel belongs to the earthly one. Either way, he used Israel in two senses, as two different kinds of bodies.
 

brightfame52

Well-known member
I guess that Paul uses the concept or terminology in two ways, like when he says "not all Israel is Israel." IOW, either he meant that not all of the earthly Israel belongs to the spiritual Israel, or not all of the spiritual Israel belongs to the earthly one. Either way, he used Israel in two senses, as two different kinds of bodies.
Exactly That is because Abraham had two different seeds. He of course had a natural seed. Remember Jesus told the natural jews In 8 37

I know that ye are Abraham's seed
; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

But Abraham was given a Spiritual Seed/Children which Jesus denied those jews were part of Jn 8 39

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

So you see Jesus makes a contrast difference in Abraham's seed/children. The same applies to Israel the seed of Abraham. A natural israel and a Spiritual Israel.
 

rakovsky

Member
You have a pretty good understanding of this topic, Brightflame.
Probably the most that can be made out of the prophecies in terms of what they say about the earthly Israel according to the Christian view is that in Romans 9-11 there is a prediction that eventually the scattered physical Israelites will accept Christ as the Messiah, and you can interpret that within this context there would be a gathering of them.

But even there, it's really not clear if this would necessarily mean a physical gathering of physical, now-faithful Israelites to the physical land of Israel, or that this would necessarily involve the modern idea of the "nation-state". First, in the Bible the idea of "gathering" doesn't necessarily mean physical. The Torah says that Abraham and the Patriarchs were "gathered" to their ancestors even though they were sometimes not physically buried with them. Second, you would have to consider whether the world's physical Israelites would even have a strong desire to physically live in Zion. Most Jews today have not made Aliyah- they don't live in the Levant. Third, if we are talking about a blessed Messianic apocalyptic era, it's also not clear that we would have the same kind of concepts of nationalism and national boundaries that we do today. In a way, saying something along the lines of "This tiny region of often dry land is your particular land and this is the specific one place where you belong" could be very limiting.
 
Here is the relevant verse in 11:26-27:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

'The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins
.'”​

And what precedes the "and so"?

The phrase "and so" means that what precedes it is the cause for what follows it.
 
And what precedes the "and so"?

The phrase "and so" means that what precedes it is the cause for what follows it.
The fullness of the Gentiles entering the kingdom is what precedes this verse. If we assume you are correct, then this fullness of the Gentiles is what causes all of ethnic Israel to be saved.
 
The fullness of the Gentiles entering the kingdom is what precedes this verse. If we assume you are correct, then this fullness of the Gentiles is what causes all of ethnic Israel to be saved.

Earlier in Paul's letter to the Roman Christians he defines who "all Israel" refers to...

Romans 9:6... Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Romans 9:24... Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

So "all Israel" refers to a subset (not all) of the descendants of Jacob along with believing Gentiles.

Romans 11:25-26... For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

* The phrase "of Israel" means "descendants of Jacob".
 

brightfame52

Well-known member
The fullness of the Gentiles entering the kingdom is what precedes this verse. If we assume you are correct, then this fullness of the Gentiles is what causes all of ethnic Israel to be saved.
No not ethnic Israel, but Israel
Earlier in Paul's letter to the Roman Christians he defines who "all Israel" refers to...

Romans 9:6... Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Romans 9:24... Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

So "all Israel" refers to a subset (not all) of the descendants of Jacob along with believing Gentiles.

Romans 11:25-26... For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

* The phrase "of Israel" means "descendants of Jacob".
May I add that in Vs 26

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

In his conclusion Paul used the little word so. Its the greek word adverb hoytō :

, even so (9x), on this wise (6x), likewise (4x), after this manner

After this manner all Israel shall be saved. That is by the ingathering of the Gentile Elect during this fulness of the Gentiles, coupled with conversion of elect jews, thats how all Israel will be saved and Gods promise fulfilled Isa 45 17

But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation:

See the Mystery is being revealed that Gentiles were being counted as Israel also !
 

GeneZ

Member
I'm going to make a case that, exegetically, Paul cannot be speaking of spiritual Israel in Romans 11 when he says "all Israel will be saved." Regardless of the tension this creates for us, it simply cannot be that he is using the term "Israel" in the same way that he used it in Romans 9:6-8.

Here is the relevant verse in 11:26-27:

"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

'The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins
.'”
Regardless of how he uses the term "Israel" in chapter 9:6-8, we know that he cannot be using it in the same way here for the following reasons:

1. Throughout all of chapter 11, Paul uses the term to refer to people who are presently estranged from God.
- Verse 7 says "Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
- Verse 11 says "I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles." In this verse, "they" and "their" refers to Israel and is contrasted with "Gentiles." If Paul is speaking of spiritual Israel, is he also speaking of spiritual Gentiles?
- Verse 25 (immediately prior to "all Israel will be saved") says "blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." Has spiritual Israel been blinded?
- Verse 28 (after he says "all Israel will be saved") says "Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers." The exact same people who were blinded are concerning the election said to be "beloved for the sake of the fathers."

2. Throughout this chapter, Paul explicitly states that he is referring to Israel according to the flesh.
- Right at the start, he says in verse 1 "has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."
- In verses 13-14, he says "For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them."
- His audience are described as branches from a "wild" olive tree, whereas those who were "broken off" and "fell" are said to be part of a "cultivated" olive tree. Two olives trees: one wild, one cultivated. His audience wants to remain grafted into the "cultivated" olive tree, and the ones who were removed from that tree (the "natural" branches) can be grafted in again.

3. Other verses in this chapter that speak of a universal reconciling are clearly referring to Israel according to the flesh.
- Verse 12 says "Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!"
- Verse 15 says "For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"
- Verse 32 says "For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." Has God committed spiritual Israel to disobedience?

In light of this and the tension it creates with our theology, I would suggest that the meaning of "all Israel will be saved" turns not on the meaning of the word "Israel", but on the meaning of the word "saved."​
We have to realize the context behind Paul's explanation.

Unlike today.. Israel was still existing as a nation. The the world was being told for centuries that Israel was the nation chosen of God. Israel understood it was called to someday become the capital nation of the world. That their Messiah will rule the world from his throne located in Jerusalem (Mt. Zion).

That is why Paul presented what you quoted...


"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

'The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins
.'”​


That has yet to take place and will when Jesus returns to end the Great Tribulation.

He will be in Mt. Zion and whistle for His scattered flock which are now scattered all over the world. Whistling like a shepherd does for calling his flock. At that time the Lord will regather all those born of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Regather, as they now find themselves situated all over the planet, will be caused to come back the the land of Israel.



Here how all Israel will be saved in the future


"I will whistle for them to gather them together,
For I have redeemed them; And they will be as
numerous as they were before."


Zechariah 10:8

We need to understand that context before we can begin to discuss what was the motivation for Paul presenting that subject in Romans 11:26-27.

I hope and pray that helps.

Grace and peace........
 
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